The current week will see the start of the tests of the new Russian assault rifle AK-12. In the future, the AK-12 is to replace various modifications of the Kalashnikov rifle in the Russian army.
A defense plant near Moscow - TSNIITOCHMASH - plans to begin the tests of the state-of-the-art AK-12 next week, general director of the company Dmitry Semizorov told reporters. Izhmash, which produces the AK-12, said that the first prototype of the new rifle had already been sent to the research institute near Moscow.
Officials earlier said that the preliminary tests of the rifle would take no more than a month. The state tests of the AK-12, according to chief designer of NPO Izhmash Vladimir Zlobin should begin next year and finish in June and July of 2013.
Also read: Russia unveils fifth-generation Kalashnikov
According to Zlobin, the AK-12 has already attracted a lot of interest of all law enforcement agencies in the country. A large range of military models will be created on the basis of the rifle: pistols, machine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns both of common and special purpose.
The press, however, has criticized the weapon. In particular, the Independent Military Review wrote that, despite the improved design of the new model of the legendary weapon, the new AK-12 can hardly be referred to as a "fifth-generation" assault rifle.